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Coastal Voices: Caltrans too slow with Last Chance

Albert Einstein said it first but it is applicable to our current situation — the height of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

One of the most important issues that affects Del Norte is Last Chance Grade. We’ve known that this was a huge problem since Kurt Stremberg lost his family when this area of Highway 101 fell into the sea, 43 years ago in the middle of the last century.

At the recent town hall meeting, when Caltrans District Director Charlie Fielder was asked about the progress of a long term replacement of Last Chance Grade, he stumbled for the words and basically he just said a long term solution is necessary.


Yes We Can: Great work going on, Last Chance is still troubling

What brings people to an area like ours, a small county of 29,000 people and a city of about 8,000?

Some families here are generational and of course our Native American tribes go back many years.

My father brought me to the Klamath River 66 years ago, in 1949. It must have had an impact on both of us as we returned each summer, me as a dockboy at Shorty’s Camp and Dad to get away from big cities and his work as a structural steel worker and welder.


Coastal Voices: Bar-O Boys volunteers ready to begin

It took a year and a half of red tape, but the idea of older adult volunteers mentoring the students at Bar-O Boys Ranch can finally become a reality.  Although it has been a long wait, volunteers who have been screened by the staff at the facility will be able to start sharing their knowledge and skills with boys in the program.

In April of 2014, Bar-O Boys staff contacted RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) in response to an article in the Daily Triplicate written by then RSVP Specialist Sharon Jourden. Kirk Taylor, senior counselor, liked the idea of tapping into the wealth of skills within the Del Norte older adult community.

RSVP helps community members aged 55 and up match their time and talents with opportunities for meaningful volunteerism in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.


Sympathetic Magic

Can there be werewolves in Del Norte County? Perhaps. I will not deny it.

As the proverb goes: “Talk of the wolf and his tale appears.”

This is an ancient sort of story, and telling stories is the most reliable breed of magic there is, baby.

 



Coastal Voices: Lake Earl Wildlife Area in need of a 5-year plan

I spent the better part of (Wednesday) morning out on the mudflats known as Lake Earl.

While it is not unusual to see the Lake that low, it is not normal for it to be this low for so long. A review of the California Department of Water Resources supplied Lake levels for the last 8 years reveal that during that time (8 years) the Lake was below 4 feet 45 percent of the time. During the last 6 years it was below 4 feet 55 percent of the time. As best as I can recall, in the years prior to 2007 (when data was automatically recorded) and back as far as 1985, there were only a few times the Lake was below 4 feet in any decade and then generally only for a few months. The previous Lake Earl Wildlife Area (LEWA) managers Cal Hampy and Tim Williamson kept hand written level records for the years they were around. My personal paper records from 1979 to 2004 seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle of life, after almost 40 years of visiting Lake Earl 30-50 times a year to either hunt, fish, paddle, sail, or hike.

The significance of the more recent extended low lake levels is the duration of the negative impacts on wildlife and habitat and recreation.


Sutterís profiteers cause for dismissal

In follow up to the excellent headline article regarding Sutter Coast Hospital’s multimillion dollar profits, published Oct. 1 in the Del Norte Triplicate, please consider the following: 


Coastal Voices: Citizens find way to boost local biz

How many times have you heard it said that economic growth is important to our economy?  Yes, it’s the old tried and true mantra of any political candidate. 


Coastal Voices: Getting off the chemical treadmill

New EPA water quality laws expanding protection to tributaries as well as main stem rivers will be another layer of regulation for the Smith River lily bulb growers.

While their new agricultural discharge permit now being devised by the state Regional Water Quality Control Board will not be issued for several years, growers should be more pro-active and take voluntary steps to reduce chemical discharges from lily fields into the estuary.

Initial bioassay findings from the North Coast Water Quality Control Board (NCWQCB) indicated high levels of copper at some test sites that either inhibited zooplankton reproduction or directly killed these two indicator species, both vital in the food chain. For coho salmon and tidewater goby, Smith River sloughs and tributaries are essential fish habitat and crucial fish nurseries and rearing areas. Both species are federally listed as threatened or endangered and both require zooplankton as their primary prey species during part of their life cycles.


Coastal Voices: Saying no to hatred, insanity in tough times

Once again, 14 years later, as the sun rose and set upon America, we gathered collectively in an attitude of mourning, of celebration and of prayer. Like each of us, I recalled where I was when I first heard of the attack upon the towers and then the Pentagon, where I was later to learn my cousin had perished, along with 43 people from the county of my birth. 


Yes We Can: Fire response better than Biscuitís

As I sat here in my home in Big Flat on July 31, I worried a little bit when a dry lightning storm went through our area. It brought back memories of July 13, 2002, and a similar storm. 


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